Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, Dec. 12:
1. -- U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed start for Wall Street on Tuesday, Dec. 12, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were poised for further records as the Federal Reserve gets ready to kick off its two-day policy meeting in Washington.
Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq index pointed to a slightly weaker opening.
The Fed meeting comes amid a backdrop of robust global growth and tepid inflation, a mix that has helped boost markets around the world to a series of record highs. It also will mark the last meeting chaired by outgoing Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Donald Trump chose not to renew her term, instead nominating Jerome Powell to take her place as head of the U.S. central bank.
The Fed is expected to make an announcement on interest rates on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 2 p.m. ET. Economists almost unanimously agree the Fed will raise rates for the third time in 2017 at the meeting.
Besides the start of the Fed meeting, the economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes the Producer Price Index for November at 8:30 a.m.
The Dow and S&P 500 closed Monday, Dec. 11, at new record highs. The Dow rose 0.23% to close at 24,386, and the S&P 500 gained 0.32% to finish at 2,659.
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2. -- Brent crude prices surged to the highest levels in more than two and a half years on Tuesday, extending their premium over U.S. prices past $7 a barrel after the North Sea's biggest pipeline was shut down completely following a leak that could disrupt supplies until after the holiday season.
The Forties Pipeline System, which is owned and operate by Ineos, suffered a hairline crack last week and was fully shut down overnight, the company said, halting the delivery of around 450,000 barrels of oil and gas each day to the northern coast of Scotland. The shutdown will impact the largest input into the so-called dated Brent crude mix that is used to settle around half of the world's crude contracts.
Brent oil prices for February delivery traded 1.56% higher to $65.70 a barrel, a two-and-half year high. The moves took Brent prices, which are used as the global benchmark, more than $7 higher than those for February delivery of West Texas Intermediate crude, which traded at $58.33, up 0.59%.
3. -- Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) is no longer pursuing an acquisition of several key media and entertainment assets from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) , The Wall Street Journal reported, leaving Walt Disney Co. (DIS) as the remaining sole bidder.
"We never got the level of engagement needed to make a definitive offer," Comcast said in a statement to the Journal.
Disney is currently talking with Fox and a deal could be announced this week, according to the Journal.
Buying Fox's film and television studios and other assets would give Disney a vast library of new content, an international satellite networks and greater control of Hulu.
4. -- Boeing Co. (BA) shares were rising 1.5% in premarket trading on Tuesday after the aerospace giant said it would boost its quarterly dividend by 20% and announced a share-buyback authorization of $18 billion, replacing a previous authorization of $14 billion.
Boeing has risen nearly 82% this year, the largest gain of any stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
5. -- Bitcoin futures volumes plunged in Tuesday trading on the Cboe after U.S. regulators cautioned investors to be wary of fraud and market manipulation in global cryptocurrrency markets.
Around 420 contracts changed hands in the second session of trading for the Cboe's debut bitcoin futures contract, which settles in January, suggesting a value of around $7.5 million was traded over the exchange based on the current "front month" price of $17,780 as of early Tuesday. That's down from around 2,700 contracts over the same period Monday and a trading value of around $55 billion. Spot bitcoin prices were at $16,804, according to CoinDesk.com.
This story has been updated from 6:07 a.m. ET.
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